Christmas over? Feeling the January blues? It’s still freezing but the warmth and fuzz of the festive season has been packed away for another year and all that’s left is a squashier stomach and a dwindling bank balance. You could spend a month quitting drinking, quitting sugar, quitting late nights. Hell, quitting fun. Or you could blow most of your annual leave from day one on an epic far-flung adventure. How does a sailing trip around Myanmar’s off-grid islands sound? Diving into the clear water every morning, chowing down on superb curries and stopping by remote islands each day. Thailand’s also looking good – you could even book a digital detox or a wellness retreat to sort out that paunch. Cuba’s basking in gorgeous sunshine, and in Africa, wildlife spectacles will guarantee the safari trip of a lifetime. Here, we reveal where to go in January.
BEST PLACES TO TRAVEL IN JANUARY
Myanmar is alluring all year round with its intoxicating mix of architectural treasures, thrumming cities and far-flung islands hidden off the tourist map. Go in January though, after the monsoon season has swept through, and the country is all abloom: thick jungle and terraced rice fields are gorgeously green and daytime temperatures are just the right side of warm for mooching around temples and hiking the country's hinterland. The beginning of the year also heralds a buzzing events calendar, kicking off with colourful New Year celebrations, the equestrian festival in Rangoon, and Independence Day - a corker of a party.
Christmas may be all wrapped up but that doesn’t mean the fun’s over. If you’re looking for a party, Cuba’s just the place. The Caribbean island rustles up oodles of fun with live music, cigars and daiquiris from the dreamy northern beaches to the peeling facades of Havana. Come to Cuba and you’ll realise everyone is hellbent on having a good time. And for that reason, you don’t want it to be scorching or chucking it down – two things it won’t be after the end of the rainy season.
Tanzania has rightfully gained a reputation for superb wildlife spotting. Plan a trip for January, and you might just witness the legendary Great Migration where almost a million wildebeest gather in the southern Serengeti in search of new pastures. Following in their wake is a startling constellation of predators and other creatures, making the Great Migration serious bucket-list material. The warm and dry weather at this time of year is a double blessing, setting the scene perfectly for eye-popping safaris. And if you do decide to twin all this with an escape into the mountains or a trip to Zanzibar, sunshine is always on the cards.
Ah, Thailand – the free-spirited funster we'd all like to fall in love with. There are the islands – dreamy dots in the ocean that conjure all the best clichés: clear seas, soft sand and days of unapologetic beachside R&R. There’s the beacon of Bangkok with its shiny hotels and chaotic pockets of enterprise. And then there are waterfalls, green and serene natural parks, sprawling forests and off-grid villages. Go in January when it all looks good and you’ll understand exactly why the regulars keep coming.
Escape the UK's January chill and chase away your back-to-work blues with a holiday to Oman. There’s a reason this Middle Eastern country keeps cropping up on travel blogs: there are red deserts to roam across, Bedouin camps beneath skies of celestial brilliance, a glittering coastline and a defiantly ancient soul that lingers across all corners. All of this is topped off with a growing crop of high-end hotels and an enduring sense of mystery and obscure goings-on that will get you hooked on Oman in an instance.